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A Novel by

MONTE SCHULZ


FOR MY DEAR OLD FRIEND GEETS VINCENT, WHO REMINDED ME WHERE THIS STORY CAME FROM.


TO DISAPPOINT THE SOUL IS A FEARFUL DEED FOR A MAN. — W.Q. JUDGE


California, 1956


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oe Krueger came down from Washington State in the middle of a cold autumn evening.0MSMX\I\PMZUW[WN _IZU KWNNMM WV \PM [MI\ JM[QLM PQU QV \PM WTL ;\]LMJISMZ _IOWV IVL TQ[\MVML\W[_QVOJIVL[NZWUZILQW[\I\QWV[W]\WN -]OMVMIVL5MLNWZL IVLKWVKMV\ZI\MLWV[\IaQVOI_ISM1\PILZIQVMLITT\PZW]OPKMV\ZIT 7ZMOWVIVLITWVO\PMKWI[\PQOP_Ia_PMZM_QVLJTM_[\ZWVOWNN \PM ocean, buffeting his automobile as he drove south into California. 0M ZMIKPML 7KMIV +Q\a R][\ IN\MZ UQLVQOP\ 4W_ WV OI[ IVL none of the filling stations open, Joe decided to try and find some XTIKM\W[\IaNWZ\PMVQOP\<PMZIQVPILY]Q\IVLPMPILPQ[_QVLW_ ZWTTMLLW_V\WKTMIZNWOWNN \PMOTI[[0M[UMTTML[IT\_I\MZIVLLZW^M LW_VPQTT)LIUX]OTa_QVLJTM_WNN \PMJIaIVL2WM[I_TQOP\[ITWVO \PMKWTL_I\MZNZWV\<PZMMJTWKS[IJW^M\PM_PIZNPM\]ZVMLWV\WI VIZZW_[QLM[\ZMM\WN _MI\PMZMLWTLZM[QLMVKM[IVLNW]VLI^IKIVKa sign on the front stairs of a tall frame house at the end of the block. )TIUX_I[TQ\QV\PMTWJJa[W2WMXIZSML\PM;\]LMJISMZJ]\\WVML ]XPQ[RIKSM\OZIJJMLPQ[L]NNTMIVL_MV\\WQV^M[\QOI\MIZWWU=X WV\PMXWZKPPMSVWKSML[WN\TaI\\PMNZWV\LWWZ_PQTMXMMSQVOQV \PZW]OP\PMK]Z\IQVTIKM<PMZMOQ[\ZI\QWVLM[S_I[MUX\aJ]\\PMZM _I[ITQOP\WVQV\PMSQ\KPMVI\\PMMVLWN \PMPITT0MZIXXMLUWZM NQZUTaI\\PMOTI[[<PM_QVLO][\ML0M[I_ILWWZWXMVQV[QLM\PM kitchen and a young brunette in a smock came up from the baseUMV\Z]JJQVOPMZMaM[;PMTWWSMLLQ[\]ZJML0MZ[UWKS_I[L][\a IVL[PM_QXMLPMZPIVL[WVPMZIXZWVI[[PMKIUMLW_V\PMPITT\W let him in.


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“Sorry to bother you,” Joe told her as she opened the door. “I need IZWWUIVL1[I_aW]Z[QOVW]\\PMZMº ¹?MTTQ\¼[I_N]TTaTI\Mº ¹,WV¼\1SVW_Q\º ;PM NZW_VML J]\ TM\ PQU QV[QLM IVL PM NWTTW_ML PMZ W^MZ \W \PM NZWV\ LM[S _PMZM [PM X]TTML W]\ \PM TMLOMZ ?Q\P I \ZIKM WN  PQTTJQTTa IKKMV\[PM\WTLPQU\PMZM_I[IZWWUWV\PM[MKWVLNTWWZ¹1\¼[[UITT J]\ VQKM IVL KWUNWZ\IJTM ?M¼ZM I[SQVO \_MT^M LWTTIZ[ NWZ \PM _MMS Mother cooks oatmeal and toast and eggs for breakfast.” ¹1 LWV¼\ SVW_ \PI\ 1¼TT JM PMZM I _MMS ?PI\¼ZM aW] KPIZOQVO NWZ overnight?” Joe needed to get back to Watsonville the day after next if he hoped to keep his job at the nursery. “Well, mister, I’m not supposed to let a room go for one night. It’s not good business.” “My name’s Joe, and I’ll pay you four dollars. I can’t afford more \PIV\PI\7\PMZ_Q[M1¼TTPI^M\W[TMMXQVUaKIZº <PM OQZT¼[ MaM[ [WN\MVML ¹)ZM aW] LW_V WV aW]Z T]KS 2WM' <PI\ _WV¼\TI[\1PWXMaW]SVW_1VNIK\QN aW]OQ^MUMITWKSWN aW]ZPIQZ IVL\MTTUMaW]ZJQZ\PLI\M1KIVXZMLQK\_PI\¼TTPIXXMV\WaW]L]ZQVO your life.” ¹1LWV¼\VMMLIPIQZK]\\WSVW__PI\¼TTPIXXMV\WUMQV\PMVM`\[Q` hours if you don’t hire me one of your rooms. I’ll freeze my ass off in \PI\KIZW]\\PMZMº0MWXMVMLPQ[JQTTNWTLIVLLZM_W]\NW]ZLWTTIZ[1\ _I[\_QKM_PI\IVaZWWUPMZM_I[_WZ\PJ]\PM_I[LMIL\QZMLIVL _PI\KPWQKMLQLPMPI^M'¹;W_PI\LWaW][Ia'/Q^MIO]aIJZMIS'º ?QVLZI\\TMLI\\PM_QVLW_[IVLZIQVNMTTPIZLMZ[WISQVO\PMXWZKP )KWTLLZIN\[_MX\QV\W\PMTWJJaNZWUJIKSQV\PMSQ\KPMV;PM\WTL PQU¹1N 5W\PMZNQVL[W]\[PM¼TTIJ[WT]\MTaPI^MUaPQLMAW]_WV¼\ \MTTPMZ_QTTaW]'º ¹6WXMº2WMPIVLMLW^MZPQ[NW]ZLWTTIZ[1VIVW\PMZNM_UQV]\M[ he’d be asleep on his feet.


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¹6W\PI\¼[\WWU]KPº;PM[TQLWVMLWTTIZJIKSIKZW[[\PM_ITV]\ KW]V\MZ\WX¹?MJW\PSVW_Q\_W]TLV¼\JMNIQZ.I\PMZ[Ia[1¼UPWVM[\ \WINI]T\IVL1KIV¼\LQ[IOZMMJMKI][M1_I[R][\JWZV\PI\_Ia1\¼[I N]VVa\PQVOPW_[WUMLWV¼\UQVLKPMI\QVOIVW\PMZJ]\1R][\VM^MZ seen the sense in it.” “Thanks.” “My name’s Ida.” ¹/TIL\WSVW_aW]1LIº She fluttered her eyelashes like a starlet. “I’m pleased you’re stayQVO_Q\P][2WMº;PM[P]\\PMTMLOMZIVLX]\Q\]VLMZ\PMKW]V\MZ\WX then came back around to Joe’s side of the desk. He noticed she had big blubbers and a pretty smile. There hadn’t been any girls in Joe’s TQNMNWZI_PQTMVW_IVLQ\_I[IJW]\\QUMPMOW\SQ[[ML;PMPIVLML him a key. “Your room’s 2B. That’s on the second floor. It’s got a nice ^QM_WN \PMWKMIVº “Thanks.” ¹,WaW]_IV\UM\W[PW_aW]]X\PMZM'º ¹;]ZM\PI\¼LJM[_MTTº ;PM[UQTML¹1¼TTR][\JMIUQV]\M?M¼ZMX]\\QVOIVM_LQ[XW[IT LZIQVQV\PMJI[MUMV\IVL1JMMVKTMIVQVO]XLW_V\PMZM1\¼[IV I_N]T KPWZM J]\ 1 R][\ \ISMV \PM \IZXI]TQV[ WNN  IVL XIKSML \PMU I_Ia [W Q\¼[ LWVM _PMV Ua XIZMV\[ OM\ JIKS NZWU .WZ\ *ZIOO \WUWZZW_º ¹1¼U VW\ \WW \QZML \W OQ^M aW] I PIVL QN  aW] [\QTT _IV\ WVM 0W_ IJW]\[PW_QVOUM_PI\aW]VMMLLWVM'º 2WM[\IZ\ML\W_IZL\PMSQ\KPMV0MLQLV¼\OM\\_W[\MX[JMNWZM1LI JTWKSML PQ[ _Ia ¹AW] KIV¼\ OW LW_V \PMZM PWVMa JMKI][M Q\¼[ VW\ right to have a guest do something I have no trouble at all doing myself. 5W\PMZ_W]TLPI^MINQ\QN [PMNW]VLW]\*M[QLM[TQSM1[IQLQ\¼[\ISMV KIZM WN  VW_ IVL LWM[V¼\ VMML VW\PQVO M`KMX\ \PM NQVQ[PQVO \W]KPM[ and those are mine to do.”


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2WM[I_\PI\[PMPILL][\WVPMZ[SQVIVLMaMJZW_[NZWUTIJWZQVO in the basement, and that didn’t seem fair to him. Maybe if he hadn’t TQSMLPMZQ\_W]TLV¼\PI^MUI\\MZML¹AW]KIV\MTTUM\WUQVLUaW_V J][QVM[[J]\1LWV¼\KIZM\WOW]X\WJMLSVW_QVOaW]¼TTJMOZQUQVO aW]Z[MTN LW_VPMZMITTITWVM_PMVITTaW]PIL\WLW_I[[Ia\PM_WZL and I’d help you out and be happy to do it.” ¹?MTT\PMV1_WV¼\LWVWUWZM\WVQOP\º[PM\WTLPQU¹0W__W]TL that be?” 0M[UQTMLI[PMXQKSML]XPQ[L]NNTMJIO¹?MTT1¼L[Ia[PW_UM that room upstairs.” “Just let me close the basement so a stray cat don’t get caught in PMZM<PMa¼ZM[]KPIV]Q[IVKMIVL_MPI^MI_QVLW_JZWSMJMPQVL\PM ZW[M[1_WV¼\JMIUWUMV\º ;I\Q[NQML \PI\ PM¼L JMMV I OMV\TMUIV 2WM _I\KPML 1LI Z][P WNN  LW_V\PMPITTIVLQV\W\PMSQ\KPMV_PMZM[PM[P]\\PMJI[MUMV\LWWZ TWKSMLQ\IVL\PMV[_Q\KPMLWNN \PMTQOP\;PMPILPMZJ][QVM[[NQO]ZML out, all right. “You can go on up,” she told him. “It’s the first door on the left. I _IV\\WOM\[WUMNZM[P\W_MT[º


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he room was small _Q\PR][\IZI\\aJT]MZ]OIPQOPJWaLZM[[MZ a nightstand and reading lamp, and a common iron bed across from the bathroom. )[QVOTM_QVLW_XWQV\MLW]\W^MZ\PM[QLMaIZL NILML XQVS ZW[M[ WV \PM _ITTXIXMZ NTWWZ \W KMQTQVO I XIQV\QVO WN  I UW]V\IQVTISMQVI[QUXTM_WWLMVNZIUMVM`\\W\PMLWWZIVLI\ITT JZI[[ [\IVLQVO TIUX QV I KWZVMZ Ja \PM _QVLW_ )N\MZ MUX\aQVO PQ[ duffle and taking a leak in the toilet, Joe stuffed a couple shirts and a clean pair of trousers into the oak dresser and shoved the duffle under the bed. He hung up his jacket in a closet by the door, slipped his shoes WNN\PMV[I\WV\PMJMLIVL_IQ\MLNWZ1LI<PMWTL[XZQVO[[Y]MISML IVL\PMUI\\ZM[[_I[T]UXa)[\MMXIVLKWV[\IV\ZIQV[\ZMISMLLW_V the glass behind a linen shade. 2WMNT]NNML\PMXQTTW_IVLTMIVMLJIKSIOIQV[\\PMPMILJWIZLIVL NW]OP\ \PM ]ZOM \W KTW[M PQ[ MaM[ 1\ PIL JMMV I TWVO _MMSMVL IVL PM _I[ I_N]TTa \QZML 1N  PM [PW_ML ]X I LIa WZ \_W TI\M \W ?I\[WV^QTTM PQ[ JW[[ UQOP\ XW[[QJTa [\IVL NWZ Q\ ?PW _WZSML PIZLMZ \PIV 2WMIVaPW_'1N \PI\[WVWNIJQ\KPLQLV¼\TQSMQ\PMKW]TLT]UXQ\2WM PILJMMVSVWKSQVOIZW]VLNWZ[WTWVOVW_Q\_I[\W]OP\WNMMTU]KP loyalty. The nursery hired packs of Mexicans to haul fertilizer and dig \PMZW_[<PMa¼LTIJWZQV\PMNQMTL[ITTLIaTWVO]V\QT\PMa[UMTTML[W JILaW]KW]TLV¼\JMQVLWWZ[_Q\P\PMU)N\MZVQOP\NITT[WUM[UWSML \MIIVL_MV\\W\W_VIVL[\IZ\MLSVQNMNQOP\[IVLOW\\W[[MLQV\WRIQTWZ shipped home to Guadalajara. Others collected together in cabins and [IVO[WVO[IVLLZIVS\MY]QTI1N aW][XWSMINM__WZL[WN ;XIVQ[P aW]KW]TLUISMNZQMVL[_Q\P[WUMWN \PMUIVL\PW[MaW]LQL\ZMI\ML


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you like a king. They’d do anything for you, except introduce their [Q[\MZ[_PW¼LWVTaUIZZaIOZQVOWQN PMPILUWVMaMVW]OP\WJ]aPMZ IPW][MIVL_I[_QTTQVO\W[_MIZITTMOQIVKM\W\PM8WXM<PMUWZMPM \PW]OP\IJW]\Q\\PMUWZM2WMZMITQbML\PI\?I\[WV^QTTM_I[IVW\PQVO RWJ-^MV\PM_M\JIKS5M`QKIV[PILQ\JM\\MZ\PIVPMLQLJMKI][M\PMQZ [WTMIUJQ\QWVQVTQNM_I[\W[\QZUIV]ZMIVL_I\MZ\PMOZW_QVONQMTL[ [W\PMaKW]TL\ISMINM_LWTTIZ[JIKSLW_V\W5M`QKW_Q\P\PMU_PMV \PM _WZS ZIV W]\ 2WM¼[ JW[[ W_VML \PM J][QVM[[ IVL LQLV¼\ KIZM NWZ IVa\PQVOMT[M0MPILIJQONIVKaPW][MWVNQN\aIKZM[_Q\PIVQKMaIZL WN OZI[[IVLWIS\ZMM[IVLIJQOJIZVIVLNW]ZI]\WUWJQTM[0Q[_QNM ZIV[WUMXWTQ\QKITKWUUQ\\MMQV\W_V4I[\aMIZIXIQZWN NMTTW_[KIUM QV\W\PMKW]V\a\ITSQVO]VQWVIVL2WM¼[JW[[\WTLIVaWVM_PW¼LTQ[\MV \PI\\PW[M\_W_MZM:ML2M_NIQZQM[_PW_QXML\PMQZI[[M[_Q\P\PMNTIO every morning after shitting on a picture of Ike. Joe met them on the PQOP_Ia\W+I[\ZW^QTTMIVLOI^M\PMUIZQLMIVL\PW]OP\_PI\\PMa PIL\W[IaIJW]\PW_IZMO]TIZO]aQV)UMZQKI\PM[MLIa[JMQVOVW JM\\MZWNN \PIVILWOQVILQ\KP_I[XZM\\aOWLLIUVMLIKK]ZI\M0MTM\ them off in front of a drugstore and they gave Joe a pamphlet to study _PMVPMOW\PWUMIVL\PIVSMLPQUNWZ\PMTQN\)UQTM]X\PMZWILPM \PZM_Q\W]\\PM_QVLW_IVLLQLV¼\TWWSJIKS2WMPI\MLXWTQ\QK[ :IQVLZQbbTMLLW_V\PMOTI[[IVL\PMZWWUOZM_KWTLQV\PMLIZS Joe lay flat on the bed and thought more about Ida. She had a good NQO]ZMIVLPMZJQOJT]JJMZ[_MZMMaMKI\KPMZ[ITTZQOP\1N PMKW]TL[\Ia TWVOMVW]OPPMUQOP\JMIJTM\WJMLPMZLW_V<WPMTT_Q\P?I\[WV^QTTM0Q[JW[[_I[ILWOI[[IVLPQ[JW[[¼[_QNM_I[I_PWZM7VTaI UWV\PWZ[WIN\MZ2WMOW\PQZML/TILa[_I[LW_V\W\PMV]Z[MZa\_QKM ILIaXZIVKQVOIJW]\QVNZQTTaJTW][M[\PI\[WTLPMZR]O[\W_PWUM^MZ _I[TWWSQVOIVLOQ^QVO2WM\PMOTILMaM_PMVPMLZW^M\PM\Z]KS0M thought positively they’d have a lay, even if it put him in a fix. One day [PM[TQXXMLIXZQ^I\MVW\MQV_Q\PITQ[\WN []XXTQM[\PI\\WTLPQU\WOW \WI^MOM\IJTM[\IVLR][\[W]\PWN \W_V+WUQVOJIKSNZWUPQ[MZZIVL[


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PMXIZSMLWV\PMZWIL[QLMIVL_ITSMLW]\JIKSWN \PMJ][QVM[[_PMZM I[UITTPW][MIVLIL][\aOIZIOM_MZMPITNPQLLMV]VLMZIOZW^MWN  [PILM\ZMM[2WM_I[[WRQ\\MZaPMPIL\WKP]OIJW\\TMWN JMMZJMNWZM PMTMN\\PM\Z]KS/TILa[_I[_IQ\QVONWZPQU]VLMZIZQXMI^WKILW\ZMM Ja\PMJIKSLWWZ0MZJTW][M_I[]VJ]\\WVML\WPMZVI^MT?PMVPM got there, she kissed him hard on the mouth. He grabbed her tits and SQ[[MLPMZ\WWIVL[PM[TQXXMLIPIVLLW_V\PMNZWV\WN PQ[\ZW][MZ[ IVLZ]JJMLPQUPIZL0MITUW[\_MV\PIa_QZM<PMV[PMTQKSMLPQ[MIZ IVL[IQL\PMaW]OP\\WOWQV[QLMIVLPMI[SMLQN IVaWVM_I[IZW]VL IVL[PM[IQLPW_\PMPMTT[PW]TL1SVW_'?MTT2WM_I[XTMV\a[\MIUML ]XIVLVW\\WW[KIZMLWN N]KSQVOPQ[JW[[¼[_QNMJ]\PMPILVW\I[\M for trespassing and told her so as he pinched her nipples. She asked QN PM_I[Y]MMZIVLPM[IQLVW[W[PM_MV\QV[QLM\PMPW][MIVLPM NWTTW_MLPMZ\W\PMLWWZIVL[I_PMZTaQVONIKMLW_VWVIJZI[[JML _Q\PPMZJIZMJW\\WUPQSML]X\W\PM[Sa0Q[NTa_I[]VLWVMIVLPM _I[IJW]\\WPI^MQ\_PMVPMPMIZL5M`QKIV^WQKM[KWUQVOQV\PMQZ LQZMK\QWV8ZWJIJTaPM[PW]TLV¼\PI^MZ]VWNN QV\W\PM[\ZI_JMZZaNQMTL _Q\PW]\ \MTTQVO /TILa[ [PM _I[ IJW]\ \W PI^M KWUXIVa 0ITN  I aMIZ _MV\JaJMNWZMPM[I_PMZIOIQV<PQ[\QUM[PM_I[I\IPIZL_IZM[\WZM LW_V\W_V[KW]\QVOPW][MXIQV\IVLKWUXTIQVQVOIJW]\[KPWWTQV\MOZI\QWV_Q\PIKW]XTMWN PMZKWUUQ\\MMNZQMVL[2WM_I[WVMIQ[TMW^MZIVL fairly certain she hadn’t noticed him, until Gladys leaned around the corner and shot him a cold eye as she said to her pals, “Not all niggers are colored.”)N\MZ\PI\_PMVM^MZ\PMaKZW[[MLXI\P[I\\PMV]Z[MZa/TILa[ XZM\MVLML2WM_I[LMIL;PM[]ZM_I[PW\[\]NN\PW]OP 2WMPMIZLISVWKSI\\PMLWWZIVLOW\]X\WIV[_MZQ\1LIKIUMQV KIZZaQVOIVIZUTWILWN \W_MT[;PMX]\\PMUWVI[PMTN QV\PMJI\Proom above the toilet. ¹1LWV¼\SVW_PW_1NWZOW\\WJZQVO\PMU]XPMZM\PQ[UWZVQVOº1LI [IQLY]QM\Ta¹J]\1¼^MJMMVI_N]TTa\QZMLTI\MTa1OM\\PMUW[\LZMILN]T XIQV[QVUaJIKSI\VQOP\IVL1KIV¼\[TMMXI_QVS_Q\PW]\UaXQTT[º


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¹?Pa¼[\PI\'º2WM_Q[PMLPMKW]TLTQMJIKSLW_VWV\PMJMLJ]\ \PW]OP\Q\_W]TLJMZ]LM She told him, “Well, you see, I had a serious accident last year. I _I[[\MXXQVOWNN IK]ZJLW_V\W_VR][\_PMVIJ][LZQ^MZTM\WNN WV PQ[JZISMIVL1_I[SVWKSMLJIKSWV\W\PM[QLM_ITS5a_Q\VM[[M[\W \PMQV[]ZIVKMKWUXIVa[IQL1_I[ITUW[\SQTTMLIVL_PMVaW]¼ZMI[ KTW[M\W/WLI[1¼^MJMMVVW_IVL\PMVaW]SVW_PMI^MV¼[IT_Ia[I [\MXI_IaIVL_PMVaW]ZPW]ZKWUM[T]KS¼[OW\VW\PQVO\WLW_Q\PQ\ I just said a prayer in the ambulance and a doctor held my hand and told me I’d be fine. Besides, it paid fifteen hundred dollars. Can you QUIOQVM')TTNWZVW\SMMXQVOUaMaMWV_PMZM1_I[OWQVOº ¹<PI\¼[I_N]Tº2WMPILVM^MZ[]NNMZMLIJILJIKSIVLPILVWQLMI PW_Q\NMT\\PW]OPPQ[LIL_WZMIJZIKMWVM[]UUMZ_PMV2WM_I[I kid and had to eat standing up. “Yes, it is, but I’ll survive. I’m stronger than I look.” She smiled at PQU¹AW]R][\_I\KP1IT_Ia[UISM\PMJM[\WN \PQVO[º ;PM[I\WV\PMJML_Q\PPMZIZU[JZIKMLJMPQVLPMZIVLP]UUML I\]VM2WMLQLV¼\ZMKWOVQbM0MLQLV¼\SVW__PI\\W[Ia0MNMT\RQ\\MZa J]\PMTQSMLPMZJMQVOQV\PMZWWU_Q\PPQU;Q\\QVOLW_V\WWPM\WTL Ida, “You got a nice voice.” ¹1PI^MUaQV[XQZI\QWV[º[PMZMXTQMLNQ`QVOPQU_Q\PI[\MILaOIbM Then she slid over so close beside him, Joe could smell the lemon in PMZPIQZ;PM\WWSPQ[PIVLQVPMZ[IVLOI^MQ\I_IZU[Y]MMbM¹,W you think I’m fast?” ¹1SVW_1LWV¼\UQVLJMQVOIZW]VLaW]ºPM[\IUUMZML¹1\PQVS aW]¼ZMXZM\\a[_MTTQN \PI\¼[_PI\aW]¼ZMI[SQVOº0M\PW]OP\PM[PW]TL SQ[[PMZJ]\LQLV¼\LIZM?PI\QN [PM\PW]OP\PM_I[JMQVONZM[PIVL got scared and ran out? “You don’t miss much, do you, Joe?” “Huh?” “I couldn’t say no if I tried.” Then she gently kissed him on the lips.


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6W\PQVOQV2WM¼[M`XMZQMVKMXZMXIZMLPQUNWZPW_PMNMT\IN\MZ\PI\ 0Q[NI\M_I[[MITML1V\PQ[_WZTL\PMJZIQVQ[[MZ^IV\\W\PMPMIZ\ Ida kissed him tenderly once more, then pulled back. “I have strict M\PQK[aW]SVW_º 2WM¼[ PIVL[ _MZM [PISQVO 0M PWXML \W SQ[[ PMZ IOIQV [W PM \WTL her, “I’ve been thinking about staying over another day or so, maybe OWQVO\W\PMXQK\]ZM[PW_\WUWZZW_VQOP\º2WMLZM_IVMZ^W][JZMI\P ¹0W_IJW]\Q\'º ¹)ZMV¼\aW][_MM\'º1LIWNNMZMLILZMIUa[UQTM¹AW]IT_Ia[[Ia\PM right thing, don’t you? You better look out, or I might say yes.” A toilet flushed in a room at the end of the hall and Joe heard someWVM_PQ[\TQVO\]VMTM[[TaI[ILWWZKTW[ML Ida’s gaze still fixed on him, she asked, “Would you really take me \W\PMUW^QM['0WVM[\'1\¼[2MZZa4M_Q[I\\PM:QIT\Wº ¹;]ZM1_W]TLº “Then it’s a date.” Ida kissed Joe again. She let him embrace her as she gave him one UWZM\Q\QTTI\QVOSQ[[IVL\PMVJZWSMNZMM¹1¼UPIXXaaW]¼ZM[W[_MM\ \WUMJ]\_MJW\PJM\\MZOW\W[TMMXPWVMa<PMZM¼[[WU]KP\WLW \WUWZZW_1¼TTTM\aW]PMTXUMQN aW]TQSMº “Just name it.” Ida kissed his cheek. “Good night, Joe.” Then she left. )N\MZ JZ][PQVO PQ[ \MM\P 2WM \]ZVML WNN  \PM TQOP\[ IVL TIa LW_V IOIQV IVL \PW]OP\ IJW]\ 1LI IVL PW_ U]KP PM TQSML PMZ ;PM []ZM _I[ILIZTQVO0MLQLV¼\QV\MVL\WTMI^M]V\QTPMNQO]ZMLW]\_PI\\WLW about her. Would she have him to bed? She sure kissed like she meant it IVLVWOQZTPIL\ISMV\WPQUTQSM\PI\QVY]Q\MI_PQTM5IaJMPMTW^ML PMZIVLUIaJMVW\1LI_I[VW,WZQ[,IaJ]\[PM¼LOQ^MVPQU\PM OW[QOVITIVL_PI\MT[MLQLPMPI^M\WLWQN PM_I[V¼\LZQ^QVOJIKS\W


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?I\[WV^QTTM\WUWZZW_'0MPMIZLIZILQWXTIaQVONIQV\Ta]X[\IQZ[IVL [WUMWVMXIKQVOIJW]\7\PMZ_Q[M\PMWTLPW][M_I[LIZSIVLY]QM\ NWZ \PM VQOP\ .ZWU 2WM¼[ M`XMZQMVKM UW[\ JWIZLQVOPW][M[ _MZMV¼\ ^MZa TQ^MTa <ISQVO I ZWWU QV WVM WZLQVIZQTa UMIV\ aW] _MZMV¼\ \WW XZW[XMZW][IVLUW[\\MVIV\[2WMPILSVW_VLQLV¼\_WZSU]KPM`KMX\ NWZ WLL RWJ[ IJW]\ \W_V 1N  aW] UM\ \PMU WV \PM [\ZMM\ aW] UQOP\ O]M[[ \PMa _MZM ^IOZIV\ WZ QV^ITQL 6WJWLa JZIOOML IJW]\ PQZQVO I room in a boardinghouse. )VaPW_2WMPILITW\WN \PQVSQVO\WLWLMKQ[QWV[\WUISM\PQVO[ \W KWV[QLMZ VW UI\\MZ _PMZM PM _MV\ 0M¼L KWUM LW_V \W 7KMIV +Q\a\PI\VQOP\NZWUIZM]VQWVI\5W[M[4ISM_Q\P[WUMWN PQ[WTL )ZUa)QZ+WZX[J]LLQM[<PMaPILPQZMLI_QVOWN ZWWU[I\IUW\WZ KW]Z\VMIZLW_V\W_V?MVI\KPMM_Q\PIQZKWVLQ\QWVQVOQVMIKP]VQ\ IVLI[\MISRWQV\VM`\LWWZIVL_MV\IZW]VL\WOM\PMZQVIXIKSNWZ WVM TWVO _MMSMVL I[ \PMa PIL L]ZQVO OZW]VL KZM_ \ZIQVQVO JMNWZM [PQXXQVO W]\ \W 6M_ /]QVMI =VNWZ\]VI\MTa Q\ ZIQVML M^MZa LIa [W they mostly stayed indoors telling dirty jokes and playing cards, then OM\\QVOLZ]VSIN\MZLQVVMZ_PMV\PMa_MV\W]\\W\PMJIZ[WZ\PMXWWT hall across the street. Friday night, Joe bought the first round of drinks and gave a toast to old times, but as the reunion played out, Joe began to have a tough \QUM ZMUMUJMZQVO _PI\ PM¼L TQSML IJW]\ \PM[M NMTTW_[ PM¼L OWVM PITN_IaIZW]VL\PM_WZTL_Q\PL]ZQVO\PM?IZ;\MJJQV[_WZSMLNWZ +PM^ZWTM\_Q\PILMITMZ[PQXI\;IKZIUMV\WIVL[XWSMTQSMIPWXXML up car salesman, cocky and full of himself. Joe hated salesmen of any [WZ\IVL_IV\ML\W\MTT;\MJJQV[\W[PW^MQ\)\6M_/]QVMI;\MJJQV[ _W]TLOM\INM_O]a[\WOM\PMZM^MZaKW]XTMWN _MMS[\W[\MITKIVVML OWWL[ NZWU \PM UM[[ PITT IVL [MTT \PMU \W \PM )][[QM[ _PQKP KW]TL OM\aW]NQ^M\W\PQZ\aI\4MI^MV_WZ\P6W\OM\\QVOKI]OP\UILM;\MJbins act like Douglas MacArthur. He’d been an idiot during the War, IVL PM _I[ [\QTT WVM )TT _MMSMVL TWVO PM VMMLTML 2WM NWZ LZQ^QVO I


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;\]LMJISMZ?PaLQLPMKIZM_PI\IVaWVMLZW^M'?PI\LQLQ\UI\\MZ' ?MTT;\MJJQV[_I[R][\WVMWN \PW[MO]a[_PWX]NNMLPQU[MTN ]XJa Z]VVQVOM^MZaWVMMT[MLW_V <PMVaW]PIL:]\PMZNWZL\PMZIVLQM[\NMTTW_2WMM^MZSVM_QV\PM [MZ^QKM0Q[MaM[_W]TLJ]OW]\QN PMLQLV¼\PI^MINZM[PTIaI\M^MZa stop, and he kept a scorecard on each conquest from March Field to Manila Bay, reciting them aloud from his bunk at night like batting I^MZIOM[ UW[\ WN  _PQKP _MZM NQOUMV\[ WN  PQ[ [M`ML]X QUIOQVI\QWV 7N KW]Z[M[QVKMOQZT[_MZM[KIZKML]ZQVO\PM?IZ[WUMO]a[_W]TLLW VMIZTaIVa\PQVO\WOM\\PMQZUQ\\[WVWVM1V6M_/]QVMI\PMVI\Q^M OQZT[_MZM[W]OTaWVTa:]\PMZNWZLIVLIKW]XTMWN [Y]QZZMT[PWW\MZ[ NZWU<MVVM[[MM_W]TLILUQ\\WX]\\QVO\PMJWW\[\W\PMU7VMM^MVQVOI\4Ma\MVMIZ\PMMVLWN \PM?IZI[KZI_Va.QTQXQVWJZW]OP\PQ[ XZMOVIV\_QNM\W\PMIQZJI[MWNNMZQVOPMZNZMM\W\PM\ZWWX[JMKI][M PM[IQLPMKW]TLV¼\PIVLTMPMZIVaUWZM6WJWLa_I[[]ZXZQ[ML\W[MM :]\PMZNWZL[PW^MPQ[_Ia\W\PMNZWV\WN \PMTQVM)N\MZLQVVMZI\\PM [\MISPW][M.ZQLIaVQOP\2WM_MV\LW_V[\IQZ[IVL[KZQJJTML:]\PMZford’s phone number in a toilet stall across the cartoonish sketch of a KZ]LM[M`IK\0MTIQLWNN _PI\;\MJJQV[[IQLWZLQLJMKI][MPMNQO]ZML M^MZaWVMPI\MLKIZ[ITM[UMVIVaPW_ *QTT0I[\QVO[_I[ILQNNMZMV\[\WZa0M¼LJMMVWVMWN 2WM¼[KTW[M[\ XIT[I\5W[M[4ISMIVL2WMPILOW\\MV\WSVW_PQUXZM\\a_MTT1V \PM[MZ^QKMPM_I[IJW]\\PM_WZ[\OWTLJZQKSWN ITT\QUM7]\QV6M_ /]QVMI 0I[\QVO[ _I[ IT_Ia[ NITTQVO I[TMMX [\IVLQVO O]IZL ]VLMZ I [PILM XITU IVL _MI[MTQVO W]\ WN  KW]V\QVO U]VQ\QWV[ QV \PM JWUJ dump and not doing much of anything on KP duty. Late in the afterVWWV\PI\;I\]ZLIaI\?MVI\KPMM_PMV\PMW\PMZ[_MZMOM\\QVOLZ]VS at Doyle’s saloon, Joe and Hastings drove out to the Columbia River IVLXIZSML\PM;\]LMJISMZ]VLMZILZQXXQVOKW\\WV_WWLIVLLZIVS IKW]XTMWN JMMZ[<PI\¼[_PMZM0I[\QVO[M`XTIQVML\W2WMPW_PM¼L finally gotten on track. “See, you can’t be a goldbrick your whole life, Joe, and


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expect to get anywhere.” 0MPILI_QNMVW_VIUML)]LZMaIVLITQ\\TMJWa in Cub Scouts and a good job managing a Western Auto store. He told Joe about going to college on the G.I. Bill and meeting his best girl on KIUX][IVLPW_OWLLIUVMLPIZLPM¼L\ZQML\WXZW^MPQU[MTN \WPMZ JaLZQ^QVOI\I`QKIJIN\MZ[KPWWTNQ^MLIa[I_MMSIVL[\QTTMIZVQVO his degree. Then Hastings asked, “So what about you, Joe? Blow anyone up lately?” )\?ISLM1[TIVLWNN \PMVWZ\PMZV[PWZMWN 6M_/]QVMI2WMPIL been part of a detail that loaded bombs onto attack aircraft, one of _PQKP _I[ XQTW\ML Ja I VQKM TQM]\MVIV\ VIUML +ZW[TMa _PW IK\]ITTa I[[WKQI\ML _Q\P VWVKWU[ 0M IVL 2WM XTIaML KIZL[ \WOM\PMZ I NM_ \QUM[IVLWVKM+ZW[TMaM^MV[PW_ML2WMIXQK\]ZMWN PQ[_QNM5WVI _PWTWWSMLTQSM)VVM*I`\MZ¼[\_QV[Q[\MZ<PMaPILV¼\JMMVUIZZQMLI UWV\PJMNWZM+ZW[TMa[PQXXMLW]\\W\PM8IKQNQKJ]\[PM_ZW\M\WPQU every day to say she loved him and to come home safely. One balmy IN\MZVWWV_Q\P\PMMVOQVMKW_TJTWKSQVOPQ[^QM_+ZW[TMabQObIOOML PQ[8LW_VIZ]V_Ia\PI\M`\MVLML\PMTMVO\PWN \PMQ[TIVLKIZrying a load of bombs Joe had supervised himself. Crosley didn’t get more than a thousand yards out over the blue ocean before his plane LQ[QV\MOZI\MLQVIUI[[Q^MNQZMJITT0M¼LR][\OQ^MV2WMIVLPQ[KZM_I \P]UJ¼[]XJMNWZMPMOW\IQZJWZVM\PMVPM_I[JTW_V\WJQ\[NZWUWVM WN \PMJWUJ[LM\WVI\QVO2WMNMT\JILTaMVW]OP_Q\PW]\O]a[ZQJJQVO him for the duration. Maybe if he’d captured some Jap officers or saved his platoon from a banzai charge, things might have been differMV\*]\\PI\¼[R][\PW_PQ[TQNM[MMUML\WOW 7VKMPM_I[W]\WN \PM[MZ^QKM2WM_MV\PWUMIVL[TMX\QVPQ[ WTLJMLZWWU_PQTMPMLMKQLML_PI\\WLWVM`\:I\PMZ\PIVTWWSQVO NWZ_WZSPM¼LJWZZW_PQ[LIL¼[WTLI]\WIVLOWLZQ^QVOIN\MZ[]XXMZ 1\_I[[]UUMZ[W\PMZM_I[[\QTTTQOP\NWZINM_PW]Z[IVL\PMZWIL[ _MZMUW[\TaMUX\a0MPILIZW]\MPMTQSML\PI\\WWSPQUXI[\5QTTMZ¼[LIQZaIVLITWVO\PML][\aIXXTMWZKPIZL[_PMZMVM_PWUM[_MZM


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being built for young men just like himself. Each one had a nice gravel LZQ^M_IaIVLIOIZIOMIVLI<>IV\MVVIWV\PMZWWN2WMLZW^M]X IVL LW_V \PM VIZZW_ KW]V\Za ZWIL[ XZM\MVLQVO PM _I[ [KW]\QVO XZWXMZ\aWZKWUQVOPWUMNZWUPQ[JQORWJQV\PMKQ\a)N\MZ[]VLW_V PM¼LOWQV\W\W_VIVLJ]aIPIUJ]ZOMZIVLOW\W\PMUW^QM[WZ\PM JW_TQVOITTMa6W_IVL\PMVPM¼LJ]UXQV\W[WUMWVMPMSVM_NZWU [KPWWT\MTTIKW]XTMWN _IZ[\WZQM[IVL[SQXW]\\PMNQZ[\KPIVKMPMOW\ For a couple of months, his dad tried to sell him on a job at a cannery _PMZMPM¼L[\IZ\JaIV[_MZQVOXPWVM[IVLWZLMZQVO[]XXTQM[1V[\MIL 2WMXIKSML]XPQ[L]NNTMJIOIVL\WWSIJ][LW_V\W;IV.ZIVKQ[KW _PMZMPM_WZSMLIJW]\PITN IaMIZLZQ^QVOIVM_[XIXMZLMTQ^MZa\Z]KS for the Examiner and shared a room at the back of his uncle’s house _Q\PIPW][MXIQV\MZ_PW\]ZVMLW]\\WJMY]MMZ1\_I[KWTLQV\PM KQ\aIVLNTWWLML_Q\PNWZMQOVMZ[IVL2WMLQLV¼\UISMIVaNZQMVL[[W PMY]Q\PQ[RWJIVLZWLMI\ZIQVLW_V\W4WVO*MIKPIVL\ITSMLPQ[ _IaQV\WNTQXXQVOPIUJ]ZOMZ[I\IT]VKP_IOWVJa\PM[PWZM0MLQL \PQ[ \PZW]OP \PM VM`\ []UUMZ IVL NITT _PMV \PM _MI\PMZ _I[ OWZOMW][IVL\PMZM_MZMOQZT[ITTW^MZ\PMJMIKP0M\WWSIZWWUIJW^M \PMOIZIOMWN IPW][M[Q`JTWKS[NZWU\PMWKMIV_PMZMPM_I[IJTM\W _ITS\W_WZSIVLXZM\MVLPMPILTQ^ML\PMZMPQ[_PWTMTQNM0MJW]OP\ \PM[IUM[_QU\Z]VS[W\PMZNMTTW_[_WZMIVLLW^MQV\W\PM[]ZN TQSM Johnny Weismuller. -^MZa\PQVO _I[ OWQVO R][\ OZMI\ ]V\QT PM OW\ \PM QLMI WN  TWWSQVO ]X+ZW[TMa¼[_QLW__PWTQ^ML_Q\PPMZNWTS[INM_UQTM[I_IaI\;IV 8MLZW2WM_IV\ML\W\MTTPMZPW_[WZZaPM_I[IJW]\PMZP][JIVLOM\\QVOSQTTMLIVLIN\MZIUWV\PWZ[WWN U]TTQVOQ\W^MZPM_WZSML]X the courage to telephone. She had a nice voice and seemed happy he called and invited him over the next evening for supper. He bought IVM_ \QMIVLIJW]Y]M\WN LIQ[QM[ IVLZIVOPMZLWWZJMTTXZWUX\Ta at six o’clock. She looked even better than Anne Baxter. Mona had LQUXTM[IVLIOWWLNQO]ZMIVLI.ZMVKPPIQZLW;PM\WTL2WMPM_I[


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\PMWVTaWVMNZWU+ZW[TMa¼[[Y]ILZWV_PWPILM^MZKITTML0MLQLV¼\ JW\PMZ\WM`XTIQVPW_PMIVL+ZW[TMa_MZMZMITTaNZWULQNNMZMV\W]\NQ\[#\PMa¼LWVTaSVW_VMIKPW\PMZI\?ISLM_PMZM+ZW[TMaPILLQML *]\5WVI¼[XIZMV\[PILOWVM\W+WZWVILW1[TIVLNWZ\PM_MMSMVL[W [PM_I[ITWVM\PI\M^MVQVOIVLPIXXa\WPI^MKWUXIVa;PMJZW]OP\ out a small scrapbook of Crosley’s photographs and clippings, and Joe did his best to keep her spirits up by telling her a couple of funny [\WZQM[QV^WT^QVO;\MJJQV[IVL[WUM)ZUa)QZ+WZX[O]a[_PW\ZILML [\WTMVOI[WTQVMKIV[NWZXZQUQ\Q^M_WWLKIZ^QVO[_Q\PI\ZQJMWN 6M_ /]QVMIXaOUQM[;PM[IQL[PMTQSMLPW_2WMTI]OPMLIVLI[SMLQN PM _W]TLV¼\UQVLOWQVOW]\\WMI\IVLPM\PW]OP\\PI\_I[I[_MTTQLMI ;QVKMPMLQLV¼\PI^MIKIZ\PMaJWZZW_MLPMZUW\PMZ¼[.WZLIVLLZW^M LW_V\W_VNWZI[\MISLQVVMZ)N\MZ_IZL\PMa_MV\\WI/IZa+WWXMZ UW^QMI\\PM?IZVMZ<PMI\MZ;PMPMTLPQ[PIVLNWZXIZ\WN \PM[PW_ IVL PM JMOIV \W NWZOM\ PW_ \PMa¼L UM\ *IKS I\ PMZ XIZMV\[¼ PW][M again, Mona invited Joe inside for a cup of coffee and offered him the ][MWN \PMQZO]M[\ZWWU[WPM_W]TLV¼\PI^M\W\ISMI\I`QJIKS\W4WVO *MIKPJ]\2WM\WTLPMZPMPIL\W_WZSQV\PMUWZVQVOIVLKITTMLNWZI cab. Mona hugged him at the door before he left and kissed his cheek IVLPM_I[XZM\\a[]ZM[PMPILI\MIZQVPMZMaM0MNMT\ZW\\MV_PMV PM_MV\\WJML\PI\VQOP\ <PMVM`\LIa5WVI\MTMXPWVML\W\PMPIUJ]ZOMZRWQV\;PM_IV\ML \W[MM2WM_PMVPMOW\WNN _WZS+W]TLPMKWUMW^MZIOIQV';]ZMPM could. Joe took a taxicab back up to San Pedro later that afternoon. 5WVIOZMM\MLPQUI\\PMLWWZ_Q\PIVW\PMZTQ\\TMSQ[[IVL\PMaKWWSML hamburgers on her father’s backyard barbecue and talked about the future. Mona hoped to get married again one day and have a house WN PMZW_V_Q\PIaIZLIVLI[_QUUQVOXWWTIVLINIUQTa_Q\PTW\[ WN KPQTLZMV2WMIOZMML\PI\_I[[WUM\PQVO\WTWWSNWZ_IZL\W)N\MZ eating, Mona fixed daiquiris for them both and played a couple of )Z\QM;PI_ZMKWZL[QV\PMTQ^QVOZWWU<PMaLIVKMLNWZI_PQTM\PMV


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5WVIM`K][MLPMZ[MTN IVL_MV\QV\W\PMJIKSWN \PMPW][M_PMZM[PM KITTMLNWZPQUIN\MZINM_UQV]\M[2WMNWTTW_MLPMZ^WQKM\W\PMMVLWN  \PMPITT_IaIVLNW]VL5WVIQVPMZJMLZWWU_MIZQVOWVTaIJZIIVL XIV\QM[;PILW_[NZWUI_ITV]\\ZMMR][\W]\[QLM\PM_QVLW_PQLPMZ face as she asked him to sit beside her on the bed. His hands trembled, but he did as she asked and she kissed him and unbuttoned his shirt IVLTIaJIKSWVPMZXQTTW_I[PM]VLZM[[ML4I\MZPM_W]TLZMUMUJMZ PW_ [WN\Ta [PM JZMI\PML IVL \PM ZW[a [KMV\ WN  PMZ PIQZ )N\MZ LIZS 5WVINMTTI[TMMXIVL2WMLZM[[MLIOIQVIVL_ITSMLW]\\W\PMSQ\KPMV NWZ I OTI[[ WN  _I\MZ <PMV PM KITTML I \I`Q IVL TMN\ _Q\PW]\ _ISQVO PMZ0M_I[V¼\ZMILaNWZI_QNMIVLKMZ\IQVTaVW\+ZW[TMa¼[-IZTa\PI\ _MMS_Q\PW]\\MTTQVOPQ[JW[[PM_I[Y]Q\\QVOWZOQ^QVOIVaVW\QKM\W \PMW_VMZWN \PMOIZIOMIXIZ\UMV\2WMOW\WVIJ][QV\PMUQLLTMWN  \PMVQOP\IVLTMN\\W_V 0M _MV\ \W 5WLM[\W IVL T]KSML QV\W I JML I\ I ZWWUQVOPW][M IVL\WWSIRWJKTMIVQVO]XI\ILZQ^MQV\PMI\MZ1\_I[V¼\IJIL[Q\]I\QWVI\ITT0MLQLV¼\KIZMPW_VWQ[a\PQVO[OW\WZQN \PMOQZT[_MZM homely and rarely paid him any notice. He bought some books on getting ahead in life and read them all cover to cover, but couldn’t [MMPW_U]KPWN Q\IXXTQML\WPQU5W[\WN \PMNMTTW_[\PMa\ITSML IJW]\[MMUMLMUX\aPMILMLIVL\PMW\PMZ[_MZMTIbaLWVW\PQVO[ *M[QLM[2WMLQLV¼\_IV\\WZ]V/MVMZIT5W\WZ[#PMR][\VMMLML[WUM\PQVO \PI\ _W]TL MIZV PQU I NM_ LWTTIZ[ IVL J]a PQU I [\MIS VW_ IVL\PMV<PMZMITXZWJTMU_I[\PI\2WMLQLV¼\PI^MIVaQLMI[IJW]\ _PI\PMW]OP\\WLW1V\PM[MZ^QKMUW[\WN PQ[\PQVSQVO_I[LWVM for him. He cleaned latrines, loaded bombs, got on and off boats, [\WWLO]IZLL]\a[MZ^QKMLIQZKZIN\IVL_IQ\MLNWZ\PM?IZ\WOM\W^MZ _Q\P*]\M^MZa\PQVO_I[[WKWUXTQKI\MLIVLLQNNQK]T\QVKQ^QTQIVTQNM 5IaJMQN PM_MZM[UIZ\MZPM¼LJMIJTM\WNQO]ZMW]\PW_W\PMZO]a[ OW\IPMIL;WUMVQOP\[PM¼LTQMQVJMLIVL_WZZa\PI\PM_I[ZM\IZLML and nobody had told him.


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2WM¼[NI\PMZPILJMMVILZI]OP\[UIVIVL_PMV2WM¼[UW\PMZ_I[ ITQ^M[PMUILMXIQV\QVO[WN JQZL[<PMQZPWUM_I[N]TTWN JWWS[IVL IZ\_WZS?PMV2WM_I[aW]VOPM_I[IT_Ia[I[SMLQN PMTW^ML\WLZI_ TQSMPQ[XIZMV\[J]\PMPILVW\ITMV\NWZIZ\IVLPMZMIL[TW_Ta\WW0M MVRWaML\PMN]VVaXIXMZ[IVLZILQW[PW_[IVLZQLQVOPQ[JQSMQV\PM IN\MZVWWV)[ISQL2WM_I[OQ^MVIVITTW_IVKMWN NQN\MMVKMV\[I_MMS \PI\PMMIZVMLJa[_MMXQVO\PMJIKSXWZKPWN XQVMVMMLTM[IVLTMI^M[ IVL_I[PQVOPQ[LIL¼[_PQ\M+PZa[TMZWVKMIUWV\P0MUQOP\¼^MPIL a paper route, except they lived out in the country on a quiet lane of UIaJMPITN ILWbMVNIUQTQM[IVL\PMVM_[XIXMZLQLV¼\[MMNQ\\W\ISM PQUWV0Q[UW\PMZ\PW]OP\\PI\_I[[QTTaIVaPW_JMKI][MJMNWZM[PM LQMLPM][ML\WPMTXPMZXQKSZI[XJMZZQM[QV\PM_WWL[IVLZISM\PM yard each autumn. But back then, his schoolmates had real chores \PI\SMX\\PMUPWUM_PMV\PMa_IV\ML\WXTIaIVL\PW]OP\?IT\MZ 3Z]MOMZ_I[IJW]\\PMJM[\LILQV\PM_WZTLJMKI][MPMLQLV¼\NWZKM 2WM\W\ISMIZMITRWJ-^MZa[WWN\MV\PW]OP2WM_WVLMZMLQN PQ[LIL ZMITTaTW^MLPQUWZR][\NMT\[WZZaNWZTQ\\TM2WMaJMKI][MPMSVM_PQ[[WV _W]TLVM^MZUISMIVa\PQVOWN PQU[MTN ,]ZQVOPQ[TI[\aMIZWZ[WQV5WLM[\W2WM_WZSMLI[IRIVQ\WZI\ I [UITT MTMUMV\IZa [KPWWT 0M¼L ZMIL [WUM_PMZM \PI\ \PM N]\]ZM Q[ I Ua[\MZa QV\MZXZM\ML JM[\ Ja _PMZM _M¼^M JMMV 2WM [I_ PQ[ W_V past as a futile mediocrity. He didn’t need to be a millionaire; he just desired a modest success, some source of pride in accomplishment \W TQN\ PQU W]\ WN  JML MIKP LIa *]\ VW\PQVO _MV\ ZQOP\ 7VM KWTL 6W^MUJMZUWZVQVO_PMV\PMKPQTLZMV_MZMQVKTI[[2WMLMKQLMLPM VMMLML I KQOIZM\\M [W PM _MV\ \W \PM RIVQ\WZ¼[ KTW[M\ [P]\ PQU[MTN  QVIVLTQOP\ML]X0M_I[[QKS\PI\LIa^M`MLJaIUQ[MZIJTMNM^MZ Dazed in the dark, he banged his forehead against a shelf and lost \PMKQOIZM\\MQV\WIJ]KSM\WN TIKY]MZMLZIO[PM_I[[]XXW[ML\WPI^M \PZW_VW]\0MVMIZTaJ]ZVMLLW_V\PM[KPWWT<PMaXZQV\MLPQ[XQK\]ZMQV\PMM^MVQVOVM_[XIXMZIVL2WM¼[NI\PMZ\MTMXPWVML\WKITTPQU


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a goddamned fool. An hour later, he telephoned back, this time to IXWTWOQbMZMUQVLQVO2WM\PI\_MITTPI^M\W_I\KPW]Z[MT^M[QVWZLMZ to do better for everyone’s sake. The next day Joe got fired. When Stebbins telephoned about the reunion at Moses Lake, Joe _I[_WZSQVONWZIV]Z[MZaLW_VQV?I\[WV^QTTMPI]TQVOXTIV\[IVLNMZtilizer and driving a truck. He’d quit smoking, rarely drank except for INM_JMMZ[WV\PM_MMSMVL[SMX\UW[\Ta\W\PMKTMIVIVLVIZZW_IVL his boss liked him. Why not? Nobody labored longer hours than Joe. 0M[PW_ML]XI\LI_VIVL_MV\PWUMIN\MZLIZS5W[\WN PQ[XIaKPMKS_MV\QV\WI[I^QVO[IKKW]V\I\ILW_V\W_VJIVS0M_I[\PQZ\a years old and lived in the back room of a field shack and read Perry Mason novels and old issues of the pulp magazines Stolen Sweets, Spicy Mystery Stories, Weird Tales, and Star Detective in bed after supper. Some\QUM[ PM TQ[\MVML \W \PM ZILQW _PMV Q\ PMTXML PQU [TMMX 0M PILV¼\ bedded a girl since Mona Crosley. Sunday evening at Wenatchee, Joe and his three old buddies sat QVIJIZ_I\KPQVOIKWTLPIZLZIQVLZMVKP\PMPQOP_IaW]\[QLM;\MJJQV[ IVL :]\PMZNWZL _MZM JW\P LZ]VS IVL NQOP\QVO W^MZ \PM XPWVM V]UJMZ WN  \PMQZ TMOOa ZMLPMILML _IQ\ZM[[ _PQTM 0I[\QVO[ \ZQML \W recall the name of the ammunition ship they’d seen vaporized by a SIUQSIbMI\\IKSWNN 5QVLWZWQV\PM;]T];MI2WMZMUMUJMZMLPW_ 2IXXTIVM[_W]TLPQLMJMPQVL\PM[]VJZQOP\UW]V\IQV[\PMVI\\IKS W]\WN VW_PMZMLQ^QVO[\ZIQOP\LW_V\PMJQO[UWSM[\IKS[\MZZWZQbQVO M^MZaWVMWV\PMWQTaJT]M_I\MZ;WUMO]a[OW\JTW_V]XIVLITW\WN  W\PMZ[T]KSMLW]\*]\I_MMSJMNWZM\PM*WUJ_I[LZWXXMLINMTTW_ \WTL2WMI\5IVQTI*Ia\PI\\PMZM_I[VM^MZIVaZMI[WV\W_WZZa#aW]¼L MQ\PMZOWPWUMWZXI[[\PMKTW]L[-Q\PMZ_IaQ\_I[ITT[M\\TML/M\ rid of vanity and fear; life is the outcome of survival, and any future Q[ \PM JM[\ ZM_IZL )[ M^MVQVO ZIQV NMTT I\ ?MVI\KPMM 2WM [\WWL WV \PM U]LLa ZWIL[QLM _I^QVO \W PQ[ WTL XIT[ I[ \PMa LZW^M WNN  \W [MTT


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automobiles, chase skirts, build backyard barbecues, and buy diapers NWZIVW\PMZVM_JWZV[KIZMLI[PMTT\PI\PMPILW]\TQ^ML\PW[M\ZI]UI\QKLIa[NZWU5W[M[4ISM\W6M_/]QVMIIVL\PM;MIWN 2IXIVR][\ so he could spread manure at Watsonville.


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J

OE WOKE SHIVERING in the dark room. The shade flapped at \PM_QVLW_IVLPM[I_\PMNZIUM_I[WXMVIKZIKS\W\PMLIUX VQOP\IQZ0M¼LNWZOW\\MV\WKTW[MQ\_PMVPMX]\W]\\PMTQOP\:WTTQVOW]\WN JML\W[P]\\PM_QVLW_PMPMIZLI[WN\SVWKSI\PQ[LWWZ <PMSVWKSQVOPILI_ISMVMLPQUVW\\PMKWTL/WQVO\W\PMLWWZPM NW]VL1LIQVIKW\\WVVQOP\OW_V[\IVLQVOITWVMQV\PMLQUPITT;PM _I[_MMXQVO ¹;WUM\PQVO[WI_N]T¼[PIXXMVML2WM1KIVPIZLTaJMTQM^MQ\º He rubbed his eyes. “Huh?” ¹)PQOP_IaXI\ZWTUIVKIUMW^MZPMZM\W\MTTUMQVXMZ[WVJMKI][M \PI\¼[PW_\PMaLWQ\QV\PM[MKI[M[7PPWVMa1LWV¼\SVW__PI\1¼U going to do. They got killed, Joe, my parents, in a motor accident earTQMZ\WVQOP\<PMa_MV\]X[QLMLW_VQV\W\PMWKMIVMQOP\UQTM[[W]\P WN PMZM0M[IQL\PM.WZL_I[KZ][PMLWV\PMZWKS[IVL\PMQZJWLQM[ _MZM_I[PMLI_Ia0M\WTLUM\PMZM_WV¼\JMVW\PQVO\WJ]Zaº She collapsed into his arms. 2WMPMTXMLPMZ\WPQ[JMLQV\PMLIZSIVLTIQLPMZLW_V\PMVKTW[ML \PMLWWZIVLZ][PML\W[Q\JM[QLMPMZIVLPWTLPMZPIVLI[[PM_MX\ ¹/WLPMTXUM1¼UIVWZXPIVVW_2WM0W_IU1OWQVO\WTQ^M' What’ll I do?” 0M _I[ [PWKSML ITUW[\ [XMMKPTM[[ ?PI\ KW]TL PM [Ia' ¹1¼U [W [WZZa1_Q[P\PMZM_I[[WUM\PQVO1KW]TLLWNWZaW]1\¼[I_N]Tº “Do you really? Oh gosh, I’m so sorry to drag you into this, Joe. It’s VW\aW]ZNI]T\1\¼[VWJWLa¼[NI]T\1R][\LQLV¼\SVW__PWMT[M\W\]ZV\W IVLaW]_MZM[W[_MM\\WVQOP\WNNMZQVO\WPMTXUMW]\QV\PMJI[MUMV\


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)VL VW_ \PQ[ I_N]T \PQVO PI[ PIXXMVML IVL M^MZa\PQVO¼[ R][\ OWVM black, black, black, except for you, Joe. Except for you.” Then Ida began crying again, and Joe put his arms around her and PMTLPMZ\QOP\I[[PM_I[_ZIKSML_Q\P[WJ[0MJZ][PMLPMZPIQZ_Q\P his fingers, patted her shoulder, and kissed her forehead. What else LWaW]LW'?PMVPQ[W_VUW\PMZLQMLWN TQ^MZKIVKMZ2WMPILJMMV stationed at Leyte and read about her passing in a letter from his father. 0M¼L[I\WVIJ]VSJaPQU[MTN IVLKZQMLIVLVWJWLaPIL[IQLI_WZL 6W_2WMSMX\P]OOQVO1LI]V\QTPMZ\MIZ[[TW_MLIVL[PMY]Q\[PISQVO )N\MZI_PQTM[PM[QOPML_Q\PI[VQNNTM¹1\¼[R][\[W[\ZIVOMº “What’s that?” ¹?MTTPW_1SVM_[WUMPW_\PQ[_W]TLPIXXMV\WVQOP\IVLaM\1 _I[\ISMVJa[]ZXZQ[M\WWº1LI[I\]XQVJML\WWSIXQTTW_X]NNML it up at the headboard. Joe slid over next to her. “See, I’d finished [\ZIQOP\MVQVO]XLW_V[\IQZ[\PMVNQ`MLUa[MTN IJI\P5aJIKS¼[JMMV [WZMI[\PMLM^QTITTLIaTWVOIVL1KW]TLV¼\_IQ\\WOM\QV\WJMLM^MV though I hadn’t any hope to sleep. I felt so troubled all evening, like [WUM[\ZIVOM[]XMZVI\]ZIT_IZVQVOQVUaJWVM[\PI\1SVM__I[Ua OQN\\MTTQVOUM[WUM\PQVO_I[\MZZQJTa_ZWVO5W\PMZPILUMZMILPMZ XITUJMNWZM\PMaTMN\\W.WZ\*ZIOOIVLITT1[I__MZMPIXXa[QOV[[W 1JMTQM^MLIJ[WT]\MTaVW\PQVOKW]TLPIXXMV\W\PMU1V[\MIL1_WSM []LLMVTa_Q\PI\MZZQJTMKPQTTIVL\PW]OP\1¼LTMN\I_QVLW_WXMVIVL 1XW[Q\Q^MTaPILV¼\?MTT1OW\W]\WN JMLIVL_MV\\W\PM_QVLW_NWZ [WUMZMI[WV1KIV¼\M`XTIQVIVL[I_I[\ZIVOMOZMMVTQOP\W]\WV\PM WKMIVTQSMIPMI^MVTa[\IZNTWI\QVOWV\PM_I^M[IVL1M`XMZQMVKML \PMUW[\I_N]TXIQVQVUaKPM[\JMKI][M1¼UXW[Q\Q^MTa[]ZM\PI\_I[I [QOVIVLWVKM1[I_Q\\PI\¼[ITT\PMZM_I[TMN\WN UaXIZMV\[IVL\PI\¼[ _PMV1PMIZL\PMLWWZJMTTZQVOQVOLW_V[\IQZ[º 2WM LQLV¼\ ZMITTa SVW_ _PI\ [PM _I[ \ITSQVO IJW]\ J]\ PM TW^ML PWTLQVO PMZ PIVL 1N  [PM VMMLML PQU \W PM KW]TL [Q\ _Q\P PMZ TQSM \PQ[ITTVQOP\TWVO0MTQSMLPMZIVLPMTQSML\PQ[ZWWU<PMJML_I[


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KWUNWZ\IJTMIVL_I[XTMV\aJQOMVW]OPIVLPMPILIVQKM^QM_WN \PM WKMIVIVLI\WQTM\\PI\LQLVÂź\NTWWL1\_I[XZM\\a[_MTTITTZQOP\M[XMKQITTa_Q\P1LIPMZMJM[QLMPQU<WWJILPMZNWTS[_MZMLMILJ]\TQSM [PM[IQL\PI\_I[VÂź\PQ[NI]T\ 1LI[Y]MMbMLPQ[NQVOMZ[š7P2WMaW]_WVÂź\Z]VW]\WVUM\WUWZZW__QTTaW]'1LWVÂź\\PQVS1KW]TL[\IVLJMQVOPMZMITWVM0W_KW]TL1 UIVIOMQ\'?MÂź^MWVTaOW\NQ^M\MVIV\[VW_JM[QLM[aW]IVL_PWSVW_[ PW_TWVO\PMaÂźTTJM_Q\P]['<_WWN \PMUIZM\PM[WZ\[WN NMTTW_[_PW JTW_IJW]\_Q\P\PM_QVLIVLWTL5Z[8WUMZWaQV,KIVPIZLTaOM\ W]\WN JMLIVaUWZM*]\aW]SVW__PI\'1JM\aW]IVLUMKW]TLUISM IOWWN Q\\WOM\PMZR][\\PM\_WWN ][,WVÂź\aW]\PQVS'7P1ÂźU[W[KIZML 2WM5W\PMZIVL.I\PMZIZMLMIL1SMMX[IaQVO\PW[M_WZL[W^MZIVLW^MZ QVUaPMILIVL1R][\KIVÂź\[MMU\WOM\IPWTLWN Q\1\Âź[R][\[WI_N]T[W hopeless. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m an orphan, Joe. A stupid little orphan. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll stay here and PMTXUM_WVÂź\aW]'8TMI[M'1LWVÂź\\PQVS1KIVM^MZLWQ\_Q\PW]\aW]Âş ?PI\ KW]TL PM [Ia' š;]ZM 1 _QTT PWVMa ?PI\M^MZ aW] VMML 1ÂźTT UISMQ\ITTJM\\MZNWZaW]1[_MIZ1_QTTÂş 0MLZM_1LIKTW[M\WKWUNWZ\PMZ_PMV[]LLMVTa[PMSQ[[MLPQ[TQX[ ;WPMSQ[[MLPMZJIKSM^MVI[PMZ\MIZ[_M\JW\P\PMQZKPMMS[<PMa SQ[[MLIOIQVIVL2WMLQLVÂź\_IV\\W[\WX?I[\PQ[[PIUMN]T'4W^QVO PMZ]XQV\PQ[PW]ZWN \ZIOMLa'?PI\[WZ\WN NMTTW_LQL\PI\'1LIKT]VO to him fiercely, her honey scent clouding his resolve to be moral amidst \PQ[ PWZZQJTM \ZIOMLa <PMa SQ[[ML NWZ I TWVO _PQTM \PMV \WZZQL IVL [KIVLITW][Ta2WMNMT\I\PZQTTPMPILVÂź\SVW_VQVaMIZ[1LIZ]JJMLPMZ cheek on his face and kissed his ear, then his neck, and shifted her body to spoon so closely Joe could feel Idaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart thumping beneath her breast. The floorboards creaked as someone passed in the hall outside his door. Joe clung to Ida and shushed her breathing and noticed sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d ]VJ]\\WVMLPQ[[PQZ\)_IZU\ZMUJTQVOPIVL[TQXXML]VLMZPQ[KTW\PQVOIVLZ]JJMLPQ[JMTTa1LI_PQ[XMZMLQVPQ[MIZš0WVMa1LWVÂź\_IV\ us to be angels. Not tonight.â&#x20AC;?


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<PMV2WMJMKIUMNZIV\QK_Q\PLM[QZM0MLIZML\WTQN\PQ[PIVLIVL cup her bosom, but Ida squirmed free and put a finger on Joe’s lips, then ZW[M\WPMZSVMM[IVLPWQ[\MLPMZVQOP\OW_VZM^MITQVOPMZ4ILa2IVM KW\\WV]VLMZOIZUMV\[1V\PMTIUXTQOP\PMZ[SQV_I[I[UWW\PIVLXI[\a _PQ\M2WMSQKSMLWNN PQ[[PWM[1LITMIVMLLW_VW^MZPQUTM\\QVOPMZ JZW_VK]ZT[NITTNZMMPQLQVOPMZNIKM;PMSQ[[MLPQUNQMZKMTaWV\PMTQX[ IVL[TQLPMZ\WVO]MQV\WPQ[UW]\P0MZJZMI\P_I[JQ\\MZ_Q\PWZIVOM \MI;PM_ZM[\TML2WMW]\WN PQ[[PQZ\IVL\W[[MLQ\WV\W\PMNTWWZ\PMV removed her union suit, slipping it off her shoulders onto the bedspread. <PMV1LITMIVMLNWZ_IZLIJW^M\PMXQTTW_IVLZ]JJMLPMZJITTWWVQVO JZMI[\[ IKZW[[ 2WM¼[ NIKM ;PM P]UUML \]VMTM[[Ta I[ [PM [_IaML JIKS IVLNWZ\PTM\\QVO2WMTQKSI\PMZVQXXTM[\I]\IVLNT][PML0Q[JZW__I[ [_MI\aPQ[JZMI\PZIOOML2WM¼[JZIQV_I[[XQVVQVO[W_QTLTaVW_PMNMT\ NM^MZQ[PIVLUMIV0MOZIJJMLPMZJW\\WUIVL]ZOMLPMZLW_V_IZL\W PQ[OZWQV;PMZ]JJMLPMZ[M`IOIQV[\PQ[W_VIVL[PWWS\PMJMLJ]\\PM squeaking of the iron frame might have been in the house next door for ITT2WMPMIZLWN Q\0M[PW^MLPQ[XMT^Q[]XJM\_MMVPMZNTM[Pa\PQOP[IVL OZ]V\MLTQSMILWO_PQTM[\Z]OOTQVO\WTW_MZPQ[bQXXMZ1LIPMTXMLPQU ;PM]VNI[\MVML\PM_IQ[\J]\\WVIVL]VbQXXMLPQUIVL\]OOML]V\QT[PM PILPQ[\ZW][MZ[LW_VJaPQ[IVSTM[;PM_I[XIV\QVOIVLPMZXITM[SQV OTQ[\MVML[UMTTQVOWN JMI]\aXW_LMZIVL[_MI\0MZJZW_VPIQZ_I[ KTW\\MLIVLLIUX2WM[PWWSWNN PQ[\ZW][MZ[1V\PMOTW_WN \PMKWZVMZ [\ZMM\TQOP\ 1LI¼[ MaM[ OTMIUML _Q\P T][\ I[ [PM \W[[ML I_Ia PQ[ [PWZ\[ \WW*IZMVISMLWV\PMJML2WM_I[ZMLPW\IVL[KIZML\WLMI\PPM¼L XWXIVa[MKWVL0M_I\KPML1LIY]QM\Ta[TQXWNN \PMJMLIVLZMUW^M PMZW_VNZQTTa]VLMZ_MIZ;PM_QOOTMLTQSMRMTTa2WM¼[UW]\P_I[LZaPQ[ PIVL[[PISQVO0M\PW]OP\[PM_I[OWZOMW][4WWSQVOPQULMILQV\PM eye, she put a finger to her lips, faintly smiling, and then eased onto the JML?PMV1LIKZI_TMLWV\WXWN PQUIVL[PW^MLPQ[XM\MZ]XJM\_MMV PMZX]NNa_M\\PQOP[2WM3Z]MOMZJMTQM^MLPM_I[\Z]TaJTM[[ML


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A

memorial service was held for William and Rosaline 5IKI]TIaI_MMSTI\MZI\)ZKILQI+MUM\MZaWV\PMNWZM[\MLPQOP OZW]VLIJW^M7KMIV+Q\a2WM_ITSML_Q\P1LI]X\W\PMKPW[MVXTW\ IVL[\WWL_Q\PPMZQVIKWTL_QVL;M^MZITXMWXTMWNNMZMLM]TWOQM[\W a fine, upstanding couple Joe had never met. Dressed in black, head \W\WM1LI_IQ\ML[\WVMNIKMLI[\PMW\PMZ[[XWSMIVL_PMVPMZ\]ZV came, she read a prayer apparently favored by her mother and father: “The joys and tears and coilings of mankind are those of God in miniature. But within them is a secret door. Open it when you will, for it reveals your own immortal soul. Be still, and hear the whisper that reaches out to you in silent places. In one thrilling, breathless moment, the Light will filter through that golden door and awaken you to immortality before spring flowers bloom again.” <PMV 1LI M`XZM[[ML PMZ TW^M NWZ \PMU PW_ M\MZVITTa OZI\MN]T [PM _W]TLIT_Ia[JM\W7]Z0MI^MVTa.I\PMZNWZITTW_QVOPMZ\WJM\PMQZ proud daughter. She told a story about a peach basket half-full of ripened fruit on the front porch outside the house one summer morning, a NQTTQVONWZPMZUW\PMZ¼[XZQbMKWJJTMZIVLIZIOOMLa^IOZIV\_IVLMZQVO XI[\_Q\PIP]VOZaMaM5W\PMZIVLLI]OP\MZITQSM_Q\VM[[MLPQ[N]Z\Q^M IK\WN \PMN\#\PMa_I\KPMLPQU[VMISWNN _Q\PPQ[OWWL[IVL\PMVNWTTW_MLPQULW_V\WPQ[PQLQVOXTIKMJMPQVLIXTIVSNMVKMQVIXI\KPWN  OWTLMV[]VNTW_MZ[5W\PMZKWVNZWV\MLPQU_Q\PPQ[KZQUMIVLWZLMZML PQU\WNWTTW_\PMUJIKS\W\PMPW][M_PMZM[PM[I\\PM_IZa^IOZIV\ LW_VQVPMZSQ\KPMVIVLJISMLI_IZUXMIKPKWJJTMZNWZPQU 4I[\Ta1LIZMKQ\MLIXWMU[PMPIL_ZQ\\MVQV[XQZMLJaPMZUW\PMZ¼[ gracious example:


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“God might encompass our world Enfolding each of us in love To know the truth, a home above Awaits thee, trusting soul who sees That our creator protects the Least of us, even infidels Who walked lonely roads Might see.” )\ \PM _ISM UIVa VMQOPJWZ[ IVL IKY]IQV\IVKM[ ITQSM ZMUIZSML PW_ [ILLMVML \PMa _MZM Ja *QTT IVL :W[QM¼[ LMI\P IVL PW_ KWUXW[ML1LIIXXMIZML\PZW]OPQ\ITT2WMLQLV¼\SVW_IVaWN \PM[MXMWXTM IVLLQLPQ[JM[\\WSMMXW]\WN \PM_Ia;QVKMPM¼LVM^MZSVW_V\PM LMKMI[ML PM LQLV¼\ SVW_ _PI\ \W [Ia IVaPW_ )N\MZ IV PW]Z WZ [W 1LI _MV\ ]X[\IQZ[ \W PI^M I JI\P IVL [\Ia \W PMZ[MTN -`KMX\ NWZ WTL -\PMT 8WUMZWa \PM W\PMZ \MVIV\[ _MV\ W]\ NWZ \PM M^MVQVO \WW I_S_IZLQV*QTTIVL:W[QM¼[IJ[MVKM\WWNNMZUWZM\PIVKWVLWTMVKM[\W1LI )T[W\PMa_MZMKTMIZTaNMIZN]TWN \PMQZW_VN]\]ZM[?PW_W]TLZ]V \PMJWIZLQVOPW][M'?W]TLQ\[P]\LW_V'1N [W_PMZM_W]TL\PMaOW' Mitch Brudvik, the furniture salesman in 2D, had tried cornering Joe in the kitchen to see if he could offer any hints regarding the disposition of the business. ¹1\¼[LMILWXMVIVL[P]\\PM_Ia1[MMQ\ºPM\WTL2WM¹<PMa_MZM already hanging on by the skin of their teeth, and Bill had a good head WVPQ[[PW]TLMZ[0Q[SQL¼[[_MM\J]\[PM¼[JMPQVL\PMMQOP\JITTVW_ don’t you think?” ¹0W__W]TL1SVW_'º “Well, do you think she’ll skip?” “No.” “What makes you say that?”


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“She’ll get help,” Joe replied, annoyed at Mitch’s attitude, as if he _MZMPWXQVO\PMXTIKM_W]TLNIQT¹6WJWLaM`XMK\[PMZ\WLW\PQ[WV PMZW_V1\_W]TLV¼\JMZQOP\;PMLM[MZ^M[JM\\MZ\PIV\PI\º “If you say so, but business is business, and this dump’s been going LW_V \PM \WQTM\ M^MZ [QVKM 1¼^M JMMV PMZM IVL 1 KIV¼\ [MM PW_ [PM¼[ going to turn it around any time soon.” “Well, maybe you ought to move out,” Joe suggested. “Isn’t that _PI\ZI\[LW',M[MZ\I[QVSQVO[PQX'º <PMV2WM_ITSMLWNN )\L][SPM[I\QV\PMXIZTWZ_QVLW_[MI\[\IZQVOW]\\PZW]OP\PM curtain lace to the quiet street and the gray ocean beyond. White caps \PZQ^MLQV\PMKWTL_QVL/]TT[[IQTMLPMZMIVL\PMZM4QOP\[KIUMWV ITWVO\PM_I\MZNZWV\=X[\IQZ[\PMWTLXQXM[[P]LLMZMLI[1LILZIQVML the bathtub. Joe heard her singing.


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33

week or so IN\MZ \PM N]VMZIT 2WM [I\ _Q\P 1LI QV \PM SQ\KPMV OWQVOW^MZ[\IKS[WN XIXMZ_WZSWV\PMPW][M<PMa¼LMUX\QML out Bill and Rosie’s file cabinet to try and get a fix on the state of \PM J][QVM[[ <_W TIZOM IXIZ\UMV\[ ]X[\IQZ[ _MZM I^IQTIJTM WVM WV the second floor and one on the third, both at the front of the house. The room on the second floor had been sitting empty since last spring, and the one on the third belonged to Ida’s parents, a marvelous suite _Q\PQ\[W_VJI\PZWWU2WMVI\]ZITTaI[[]UML1LI_W]TL\ISMW^MZ\PI\ []Q\MJ]\[PMIZO]MLPW_U]KP[UIZ\MZ\PMa¼LJM\WSMMXQ\NWZPQZM ;PMPIL\WZV\PZW]OP\PMQZZWWUTQSMIKaKTWVMLZI_MZJaLZI_MZIVL QVIVLW]\WN \PMKTW[M\[[WZ\QVORM_MTZaIVLM`XMV[Q^MSVQKSSVIKS[ from old letters and photographs, clothes, keepsakes, toiletries, tired WLL[IVLMVL[2WMWNNMZML\WPMTXJ]\ITT[PM¼LITTW_PQU\WLW_I[ KIZ\I_IaJIO[WN \ZI[PNWZ\PMJIKSaIZLQVKQVMZI\WZ1LI[\IKSMLITT of the framed photographs in a cardboard box and took it up to the I\\QK_Q\PIXQTMWN ZMKWZLITJ]U[JWWS[IVLIVWTL[\MIUMZ\Z]VS WN :W[QM¼[KTW\PM[KWUJ[IVLJZ][PM[#*QTT¼[XW[[M[[QWV[_MV\\W\PM /WWL_QTT[\WZMLW_V\W_V:W[QM¼[JT]M^MT^M\TQVMLRM_MTJW`¸XMIZT[ ZQVO[ VMKSTIKM[ MIZZQVO[ XQV[ ¸ LQ[IXXMIZML QV\W I [MKZM\ LZI_MZ _Q\PQV 1LI¼[ ^IVQ\a )TT WN  \PM Y]IQV\ XQK\]ZM[ \PI\ PIL P]VO WV \PM _ITT_MZMMQ\PMZPI]TML]X\W\PMI\\QKWZW]\\W\PMOIZIOM_PMZM1LI WNNMZML\PMUNWZ[ITMWVM;I\]ZLIaIN\MZVWWVITWVO_Q\PIKW]XTMWN  NTWWZTIUX[IVLI8PQTKW\IJTM\WXZILQW\PZMMKTWKS[\_WOQT\NZIUML mirrors, lambrequins, drapes, bed linen, and a big rug. They earned 1LI IVLKPIVOM)_MMSTI\MZ[PM\ZILMLPMZXIZMV\[¼MV\QZMWTL


34 | MONTE SCHULZ

_ITV]\IVLUIPWOIVaN]ZVQ\]ZM[]Q\M¸JML\_QVVQOP\[\IVL[^IVQ\a IZUWQZMIVLIPQOPJWaLZM[[MZ¸NWZ\PMUW[\]X\WLI\MMY]Q^ITMV\ I\4MPUIV¼[_Q\P5Q\KPOM\\QVO\PMKWUUQ[[QWV1LINW]VL[WUM_IZ JWVL[_Q\P\PM\Q\TMXIXMZ[IVLINWTLMZWN QUXWZ\IV\PW][MIVLIXXTQIVKMZMKMQX\[IVL_IZZIV\QM[IVLPIL2WMLZQ^MPMZ\W\PMJIVS_PMZM [PMLMXW[Q\ML\PMUQV\WPMZ[INMLMXW[Q\JW`)N\MZI_MMSIVLIPITN VW\I\ZIKMWN PMZXIZMV\[ZMUIQVML]X[\IQZ[<PMZWWU_I[[KZ]JJML clean and ready to rent. ¹1LWV¼\R][\_IV\\WJM[]KKM[[N]T2WMº1LI\WTLPQUI\\PMSQ\KPMV \IJTM\PI\IN\MZVWWV¹1_IV\\WJMI[PW\QV\PQ[OIUM;WUMWVM\W ZMKSWV_Q\Pº She suggested they put advertisements in the papers from Fort *ZIOO\W:MLLQVO+ITTQVOI\\MV\QWV\W\PMJ][QVM[[_I[QVLQ[XMV[IJTM \W[]KKM[[?PI\OWWL_I[Q\\WPI^MI[QOVQVNZWV\QN VWJWLaW]\[QLM WN 7KMIV+Q\aSVM__PW\PMa_MZM'1VPMZNWVLM[\^Q[QWVWN \PMN]\]ZM [PMIVL2WM_W]TLZMUWLMT\PMWTLXTIKMIVLUISMQ\IXW[PWTLNI[PQWVMLPW\MT_MTKWUQVO\W]ZQ[\[NZWUITTW^MZ\PM[\I\M1LI\WTL2WM¹1 []XXW[M_PMVXMWXTMZWLMPWZ[MJIKS\PQ[PW][M][ML\WJMXZM\\aPQOP KTI[[1\¼[I\]ZSMaVW_J]\1ZMITTaJMTQM^M_MKIVUISMQ\I_QVVMZ IOIQV QN  _M IJ[WT]\MTa X]\ W]Z UQVL[ \W Q\ 1¼^M R][\ OW\ \PI\ NMMTQVO IVL1SVW_1¼UZQOP\5aQV\]Q\QWV\MTT[UM\PI\ITTQ\VMML[Q[IOWWL NIKMTQN\IVL[WUM_WZLWN UW]\P?MW]OP\\W[\IVL\PMM`XMV[M2WM to put it right on the best track again. It’s positively a money-maker, I R][\SVW_Q\Q[º Optimistically, he agreed. “I think it’d be a knockout.”


NAUGHTY|

A

35

ctually, the property was suffering from decades of   VMOTMK\ IVL [IOOML MI[\_IZL NZWU I [M\\TQVO NW]VLI\QWV. Joe found dry rot in the front and rear porches and each of the porch col]UV[;WUMLW]JTMP]VO_QVLW_[PQOP]XWV\PMNZWV\WN \PMPW][M _MZM[PWZVWN XIQV\JaWKMIV_QVLIVLZIQVLMKIaQVO\PM[QTT[IVL\PM WTLZML_WWLNZIUM[1V\PMJIKSaIZLIY]IZ\MZWN \PMNMVKMXW[\[PIL rotted and fallen over, and some of the pickets had been kicked in by kids or angry drunks. He scribbled a quick list of necessary tools and []XXTQM[ IVL _MV\ QVLWWZ[ _PMZM \PM XZWJTMU[ _MZM _WZ[M aM\ =X on the third floor, Ethel Pomeroy’s pull-chain toilet had been leaking for years and had rotted out the floor beneath the tiles. He also noticed the roof had been leaking around the chimney and most of \PM LW_V[XW]\[ WV \PM O]\\MZ[ _MZM KZIKSML IVL Z][\ML W]\ <PMZM _MZM\PW][IVL[WN ZI\\]ZL[QV\PMI\\QK_PMZM\PMTQ\\TMJI[\IZL[PIL gotten in through one of the rotten fascia boards. Digging around [WUM2WMLQ[KW^MZML\PI\\PM_QZQVO]VLMZ\PMNTWWZPILJMMVKPM_ML clean through, leaving him a roasted rat carcass for a souvenir. Taking up the attic floorboards to solve the rodent problem revealed a driedup old rat’s nest of treasures: a silver doll shoe, a pair of eyeglasses, thimbles and yarn, a five dollar bill, and a skeleton key that didn’t fit IVaTWKSQV\PMPW][M,W_V[\IQZ[\PM_I\MZPMI\MZWNN \PMSQ\KPMV_I[ N]TTWN [QT\IVL_I[WVTaPMI\QVO\MVOITTWV[WZ[WWN _I\MZIVL_W]TL have to be replaced. Naturally, the basement, too, had been leaking for years, and Joe figured it needed a French drain. He assumed that once PMOW\QV\W\PM[MZMXIQZ[PM¼LNQVLM^MVUWZM\WLWJMKI][M\PI\¼[PW_


36 | MONTE SCHULZ

Q\[MMUML\WOW_Q\PWTLPW][M[0MM`XMK\MLITW\WN _WZSJ]\PMPIL gotten on a construction detail at Moses Lake during the War that ZMXIQZML[WUMWTLJIZZIKS[IVLJ]QT\IVM_WVMNWZ\PMV]Z[M[[WPM _I[ZMILaNWZQ\<PMY]M[\QWV_I[PW_1LI_W]TLZMIK\JMKI][M[PM XW[[M[[MLIKWTLTQ\\TMMaM_PMVQ\KIUM\WUWVMa When Joe unfolded his list, she gave her usual sigh. “That’s too U]KP2WMa1PI^M\W[Ia1LQLV¼\KW]V\WV][VMMLQVO\PI\U]KP_WZS LWVM?M¼^MOW\M`XMV[M[1PI^MV¼\M^MV_ZW\MW]\aM\1¼^MWVTaOW\ _PI\_I[TMN\UM\PZW]OPUaQVPMZQ\IVKMIVL\PI\¼[VWJWLa¼[NWZ\]VMº ¹?MTT 1 OW\ [WUM UWVMa _M KIV ][M 1 NQO]ZM \PI\¼[ WVTa NIQZ 1\¼[ _PI\1[I^ML]XNZWU?I\[WV^QTTMIVL\PI\¼[VW\I_PWTMTW\J]\Q\¼[ something. Maybe I’ll cover the lumber if you can chip in another three hundred or so.” Ida shook her head. “In that case, you better count me out, Joey. I \MTTaW]_MR][\PI^MV¼\OW\\PI\SQVLWN UWVMa\W\PZW_IZW]VLº ¹0W_IJW]\ITWIV'*IVS[TW^MOM\\QVONWTS[WV\PMLWTMLWV¼\\PMa'º ¹?M¼ZMITZMILaQV\W\PMUNWZ\MV\QUM[\PI\U]KP1N Q\_I[V¼\NWZW]Z reputation, I expect they’d have closed us out long ago.” ¹?MTT 1¼TT \PQVS WN  [WUM\PQVO MT[M \PMV ,WV¼\ _WZZa ?M¼ZM VW\ OWQVO\WTM\\PQ[XTIKMNITTLW_VWVW]ZPMIL[1XZWUQ[MaW]\PI\º ¹<PIVS[2WMaAW]ZMITTaLWOW\[WUMO]UX\QWV1SVM_Q\_PMV_M UM\5aQV\]Q\QWV\WTLUM\PMZM¼[INMTTW_1KIVKW]V\WVIVL1_I[ positively right.” 2WMPILI[I^QVO[IKKW]V\_Q\P*IVSWN )UMZQKI\PI\PM¼LSMX\I[I NITTJIKSNWZ_PMVPM¼LOW\\MV\QZMLWN _WZSQVOIVL_IV\ML\WTIaWNN  NWZI_PQTM0MPILIJW]\NQN\MMVP]VLZMLLWTTIZ[QVKI[PI^IQTIJTMI\ IVa\QUMM`KMX\QVONQ^M\PW][IVLLWTTIZ[QV_IZJWVL[PQ[NI\PMZPIL given him after Joe came back from the Pacific. Not too keen on cashQVOW]\PQ[W_VVM[\MOOWVZMXIQZ[\W1LI¼[PW][MPM¼LPWXML[PM¼L\Za \ISQVOW]\IVW\PMZTWIV<PMJQOOM[\\ZW]JTMNWZ2WM_I[\PI\[QVKMPM¼L JMMV\WJML_Q\PPQ[\Z]MTW^MPM_I[NQVLQVOQ\\W]OPMZIVL\W]OPMZ


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\W [MXIZI\M PMZ [Q\]I\QWV NZWU PQ[ W_V ?PI\ _WZZQML PMZ _WZZQML PQU\WW0M[I_PMZ[XQZQ\[IO_PMVM^MZ\PM[]JRMK\WN UWVMaIZW[M and that saddened him. Lovers share the heart’s smallest ebb. We rise IVLNITT_Q\PW]ZLIZTQVO¼[PWXM[IVLNMIZ[+WV[QLMZQVOITT\PMOWWL PMUQOP\LW_Q\PQ\2WMLMKQLML\PI\[]J\ZIK\QVOINM_LWTTIZ[NZWUPQ[ JIVSIKKW]V\_I[PQ[WVTa\Z]MKPWQKM <PMVM`\UWV\P_I[\PMJ][QM[\WN PQ[TQNM[QVKM\PM?IZ2WM\WWSI LZQ^MLW_V\PMKWI[\\WIT]UJMZaIZLVMIZ.MZVLITM_PMZMPMNW]VL M^MZa\PQVO PM VMMLML NWZ \PM XWZKPM[ _QVLW_[QTT[ IVL JIKS NMVKM The next day, he began removing all the boards from the front porch. 1VILIaIVLIPITN_WZSQVOUWZVQVO\WLIZSPMZMXTIKML[M^MZITWN  \PMRWQ[\[QVKT]LQVO\PMU]L[QTTIVLX]\QVVM_NTWWZQVO,WQVO[W2WM LQ[KW^MZML \PM KWT]UV[ _MZM ZW\\ML I\ \PM JW\\WU <W NQ` \PMU PM XZWXXML]X\PMXWZKPZWWN IVL[I_MLWNN \PMTW_M[\[Q`QVKPM[WN \PM XW[\[ IVL ZMXTIKML MIKP WVM _Q\P VM_ ZML_WWL <PMV PM _MV\ W]\ \W\PMJIKSaIZLIVLX]TTML]XITT\PMWTLNMVKMXW[\[L]OVM_PWTM[ JW]OP\VM_XW[\[XW]ZMLKWVKZM\MIVKPWZML\PMUQVIVLZMJ]QT\\PM NMVKM)_MMSTI\MZ_Q\P\PMXWZKPIVLNMVKM_WZSKWUXTM\ML2WM\WWS ITILLMZ\W\PMZWWN IVLNW]VLQ\_I[TMISQVOIZW]VL\PMKPQUVMa[W PMPIL\WPI^MVM_NTI[PQVOUILMJaI[PMM\UM\IT[PWXIKZW[[\W_V ?WZSQVOJM\_MMVZIQV[\WZU[\WWSUWZM\PIVIUWV\PJ]\WVKM\PI\ _I[ LWVM PM XI\KPML QV \PM ZWWN  IZW]VL \PM NTI[PQVO[ IVL _MV\ \W _WZS WV \PM NZWV\ _QVLW_[ 6W\ WVM WN  \PMU PIL JMMV XIQV\ML NWZ aMIZ[IVL\PM[QTT[_MZMZW\\QVO[WPM[XMV\\_WLIa[ZMUW^QVONW]ZWV \PM WKMIV [QLM WN  \PM PW][M IVL ZMXTIKQVO \PMU _Q\P VM_ ZML_WWL from the lumberyard. While doing that, Joe came across a number of XTIKM[]XWV\PM\PQZLNTWWZ_PMZM\PM[QLQVOPILKZIKSMLIVLPWVMabees had built a hive in the side of the house. He had to smoke them W]\\PMVZMXTIKM\PMZW\\MLJWIZL[IVL_MI^MVM_[QLQVOQV_Q\P\PM WTL1VLWWZ[_I[IVW\PMZXZWJTMU<PI\TMISQVO\WQTM\IKZW[[NZWU5Z[ Pomeroy’s room required Joe to remove the subfloor of the bathroom,


38 | MONTE SCHULZ

ZMXIQZ\_WNTWWZRWQ[\[IVLX]\QVIVM_[]JNTWWZ)N\MZ_IZLPMPIL\W ZM\QTM\PMNTWWZIVLZMQV[\ITT\PM\WQTM\.QVQ[PQVO\PMZMPM_MV\JIKS W]\WV\W\PMZWWN \W\ISMKIZMWN \PMZ][\MLLW_V[XW]\[JaZMXIQZQVO \PM NI[KQI IVL [WNNQ\[ IVL X]\\QVO QV VM_ O]\\MZ[ ITT IZW]VL )\ \PM end of the job, Joe shelled out a couple hundred bucks for a local MTMK\ZQKQIV\WQV[\ITTVM__QZQVOQV\PMI\\QK_PQTMPML]O]XXIZ\WN  :W[QM5IKI]TIa¼[NTW_MZOIZLMVJM[QLM\PMNZWV\XWZKPNWZI.ZMVKP LZIQV\WSMMX_I\MZW]\WN \PMJI[MUMV\<PMVPMLMKQLMLPMW]OP\ \WXIQV\\PM_PWTMPW][M_PQKPZMY]QZMLPQZQVO\_WPQOP[KPWWTSQL[ NZWU\W_V\WPMTXPQU_Q\PIUWV\PWN XZMX_WZSPI^QVO\W[IVLIVL scrape the entire surface, then re-painting top to bottom in a couple shades of olive green. By springtime, Joe’s repairs and renovations had taken about four months and ran just under fifty-five hundred dollars. It also cost the JWIZLQVOPW][MIKW]XTM\MVIV\[_PMV;\IV2IVM[QV)LMKQLML\PM L][\2WM_I[SQKSQVO]XITTW^MZ\PMXTIKM_I[LIVOMZW][\WPQ[PMIT\P 0MOI^M1LI\_W_MMS[¼VW\QKM\PMVTMN\NWZIZWWUIKZW[[\W_V_Q\PI NMTTW_PMSVM_I\\PMZILQW[\WZM)[[]UUMZIZZQ^ML5Q\KP*Z]L^QS JMOIV\ITSQVOIJW]\OM\\QVOIXTIKM[WUM_PMZMW]\WN \W_V0M¼LUM\ I_WUIVNZWU4IVKI[\MZ_PWLZM[[MLTQSM/aX[a:W[M4MMIVLLZW^M INWZMQOVKWV^MZ\QJTM;PMKIUM]XNWZI_MMSMVLIVL\WWSWVMTWWS I\7KMIV+Q\aIVL\WTL5Q\KPPMMQ\PMZPIL\WUW^MWZNQVLIVM_ girlfriend. He rode her over to Reno and put them both up in a suite I\ILW_V\W_VKI[QVWIVL_PMV\PMaKIUMJIKS5Q\KP\WTL2WMPM¼L JM OQ^QVO ]X PQ[ ZWWU I[ [WWV I[ M[KZW_ KTW[ML WV I PW][M PM PIL NW]VLQV;XIZS[<PI\ZMITTaX]\1LIQVIJQVLIVL2WMNMT\Q\_PMVM^MZ \PMa_MZMQVJML\WOM\PMZI\\PMMVLWN \PMM^MVQVO;PM[MMUMLZM[\less and talked on and off about insurance on the boardinghouse and losing the business to the bank. ¹<PMa¼ZMIJ[WT]\MTaOWQVO\WKWUMOM\UM2WM1SVW_\PI\JMKI][M I positively seen it in my sleep.”


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<PMV[PM_W]TLZWTTW^MZIVL_MMXNWZINM_UQV]\M[IVL2WM_W]TL TM\PMZJMVW\Y]Q\MSVW_QVOPW_\WX]\\PQVO[[Y]IZM0M¼LTQMR][\WNN  PMZ[PW]TLMZIVL[\IZMW]\\PM_QVLW_I\\PMKTW]L[KZW[[QVO\PMJIa and count stars on the night sky and listen to auto traffic to see if he KW]TL\MTTI+PM^aNZWUI.WZL)N\MZI_PQTM1LI_W]TLXMZS]XIVL SQ[[2WMWV\PMVMKSIVL]VLZM[[IVLOM\ITT[M`ML]X]V\QT\PMa_MZM JW\P[_MI\aIVL_WZVW]\<PMV[PM¼LK]LLTM]XJM[QLMPQUIVLIK\ I[QN VW\PQVOQV\PM_WZTLUI\\MZMLJ]\\PI\[PMIVL2WM_MZM\PMZM \WOM\PMZIVL\WPMTT_Q\PM^MZaWVMMT[M


Naughty by Monte Schulz - preview